?For the first time in Barcelona’s history, the naming rights to their Camp Nou stadium is going to up for grabs next season.
The club want to raise money to help with the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in Spain and one of the options being very publicly linked? A cannabis company in which legendary boxer Mike Tyson is a business partner.
Saying the proposition has received a mixed reception would be an understatement, but even if you’re not a fan of seeing Lionel Messi at the ‘Estadio del Hemp’ or ‘Municipal La Reefer’ next season, we’re pretty sure there a few more companies which would be even less popular in Catalunya…
Barcelona are only selling the naming rights to their stadium, but Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t stop there.
He could lace the spires of La Sagrada Familia with his most expensive undies, set up a shop in the Gothic Quarter of the city, or even move his infamous bust from his hometown airport and place it on top of the Arc de Triomf.
Ronaldo’s already living rent-free in the minds of Barcelona fans, so why not splash the cash a little to be dotted around their hometown too?
Luis Suárez has sunk his teeth into most professional players. In fact, getting a bite from the Uruguayan (and subsequent tetanus shot) might even be part of getting a contract anywhere in Europe’s major leagues.
The 33-year-old’s teeth are clearly, therefore, vital to the future of football as whole. Thankfully, there’s a company in Spain which will be able to protect the most dangerous aspect of Suárez’s attacking play; his massive teeth.
Dental Planet are a fair few miles south of Barcelona, but as they’re on the outskirts of Murcia they’re still on the coast, so Suárez will be able to spend his free time in the ocean, showing off the force of his bite with the rest of planet earth’s vicious predators.
If the club want to maintain any identity after they sell the rights to their own stadium, they can only agree to a deal with a company whose ethos matches Barcelona’s transfer policy.
Planning for a nice family holiday well in advance? Don’t be daft.
Being sensible by signing a striker during a transfer window? Of course not.
It’s a match made in heaven.
This one might need a little bit of a backstory.
Some people behind the scenes at Barcelona have found themselves in a bit of hot water after contracting I3 Ventures, a social media company, to boost the profile of the club online.
As well as trying to give club president Josep Maria Bartomeu a boost on social media, this campaign also targeted the likes of Víctor Font and Jaume Roures, as well as Xavi, Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué in a negative way.
Audit company PricewaterhouseCoopers concluded the work I3 Ventures had seemingly been hired for should have cost in the region of €150,000, but Barcelona actually paid the company €980,000.
Not a good look at all.
Sarzilmaz Firearms Inc
It’s been an interesting few years for Arda Turan.
He was given the longest ban in Turkish football history for pushing a match official at the start of his loan spell at ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir, but his most bizarre incident actually came as a result of an altercation with singer Berkay ?ahin.
Turan was in a brawl and ?ahin had to be treated in hospital. But things only escalated and what happened next saw the Turkish midfielder slapped with a two and a half year prison sentence which was suspended.
The 33-year-old confronted ?ahin with a gun and even fired a shot inside the hospital where he was being treated.
Incredibly, Turan is still contracted to Barcelona and he won’t become a free agent until the end of the season.
If guns, biting and self-sabotage aren’t controversial enough, then how about injecting children with growth hormones?
Without his treatment for idiopathic short stature (ISS) there’s a chance Lionel Messi wouldn’t have been able to reach the heights that he has in his career, so what better way to commemorate the best player of all time than teaming up with a pharmaceutical company that provides growth hormone drugs?
And even if some fans don’t like the idea of hormone treatment or vaccines, Messi started his treatment in Argentina – which cost his family about £1,000 per month – well after even more developed countries would recommend.
The Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria isn’t a company. In fact, it’s actually a department of the Spanish government.
But still, Barcelona should be selling the naming rights for the Camp Nou to commemorate the one thing they are most commonly associated with – tax.
The list of Barcelona staff and players who’ve come under scrutiny for tax avoidance is quite outstanding.
Messi…Piqué…Neymar…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you can think of a player, the chances are they might have had a run-in with the Agencia Tributaria at least once.
For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!